July 7, 2011
This pig roast materialized out of nowhere. As improptu as a pig roast can possibly be, some friends suggested that we host it only 11 days before the actual event. These are the same guys that got me to make a turducken last fall. I think they knew that the mere mention of a pig roast over email would be enough to make things happen.
And sure enough, here I was, 11 days later and everything in motion. Not only was this the first pig roast I have ever hosted, it was in fact the first pig roast I have EVER BEEN TO!
So as you can imagine, there are a lot of pics in this post... This is the dry rub I put in the pig the night before the roast. We called her Amy Swinehouse. I was able to get this guy with only a weeks notice from Savnors in Boston. You can tell them any weight between 30 - 100 pounds! Ours was 49. The butchers seemed just as excited as I was when I picked up little Amy on Friday. They were telling me that she was slaughtered as recently as Thursday! A very local fresh pig from a farm in Vermont. I carried her down Charles street in a trash bag wondering if other people knew what was in my arms. Applying the rub. My roomate Mike and his girlfriend Tiffany built this awesome cornhole set just for the party! And we rented this whole grill setup and rotisserie. As you can see, we are pretty happy. What you CAN'T see from this pic is the hour of time after this was taken trying to secure Amy to the spit better. Oh wait, I guess you can see it. Yea, this was HARD. For any first timer, I would recommend allotting 2 hours to this task. I only allotted 1, and the therefore pig went over the fire an hour late. There was lots of tying. You really need to be sure the pig is secured well so it rotates evenly, cooks evenly, and also so that as the meat gets tender it doest fall off! Because of this it is important to secure the backbone to the spit. A nice cylinder of meat makes for even cooking. We broke in the freshly painted cornhole. Nice shot rich! Sal wanted to take a photo with Amy. Did you tag her? She might un-tag it because it isn't a flattering photo. When the pig FINALLY came down, we had to sample some of the skin. Steve cooks some corn up front while Tiff seems to be grossed out by the pig in the background. Here I am getting nervous because the crowd has been waiting for hours to eat and is starting to get unruly. I am trying to assemble a team of people to help me chop some meat, but everyone is a little drunk so things move slowly. Also, they have mac and cheese. Quick time-out for a snack. I cut the legs off so people could begin pulling the meat. We worked away on this till everyone was fed! I had 2 different BBQ sauces, one was similar to this one, and the other will be on the site in the next month or so cause it was delicious but I didn't take ANY pics of it. There were also 3 different slaws so that people could make sandwichs.All in all, the party was an awesome time, but I don't think the pig was as much the center of attention as I wanted it to be. Everyone seemed to love it, but my verdict comes in more at "pretty good for someones first pig roast." The skin was crispy, but could have been crispier. The pork was delicious and the sandwiches came out amazing, but it could have been much better with a longer cooking time, some smoke, and maybe a brine even. I read a ton of info on spit roasting a pig, but really in the end the tips I read were either a:obvious, b:confusing, or even c:just plain wrong! For example, I read in a few places that it would take 1 hour per pound of pig at around 350 degrees of heat. I kept it around 375 and my 50 pound pig was finally cooked after 8 hours! And in the future, I would have cooked it lower and slower.
I wish I could give some tips here, but as I said, I don't really know what I'm doing. Maybe next time I will have a better handle on things and be able to speak with authority. Either way, it was an awesome time and thanks to everyone who came and especially those of you who chipped in!